[Project_owners] Should mozdev.org generate an updates.rdf file for our projects?

Eric H. Jung eric.jung at yahoo.com
Fri Dec 7 13:29:59 PST 2007


--- "Douglas E. Warner" <silfreed at silfreed.net> wrote:

> > I don't know if incremental updates are still forced by the extension
> > manager. I hope they are :)
> 
> I kinda figured as much; otherwise an extension would continue to bloat over 
> time since the developer could never remove update code.
> 
> Given that, does there need to be a way to "age out" old updates, or once a 
> developer creates an extension, all updates have to be in the update.rdf 
> (singular!) until the end of time?

Assuming incremental updates are still enforced, you don't ever want to "age out" old updates.
I'll give you one example why: some of my extensions have been published on the CDs that are
issued by PC Magazine, ComputerBild, etc. These CDs are bundled with the magazine and enclosed in
plastic wrap; I'm sure you've seen them.

Let's say the CD contains version 1.0 of an extension... the most recent version when the issue
was published. 6 months later 2.0 is released. Another 6 months later 3.0 is released. Only 2.0
has the "upgrade code" to make 1.0 files forward-compatible.

If a user installs the extension from this CD a year or two after the issue was published, he'll
get prompted to upgrade to a newer version of the extension shortly after installation. Imagine
his surprise when he upgrades and the extension doesn't work because he was upgraded to 3.0. Why
wasn't he upgraded to 2.0? Because mozdev "aged out" 2.0; it wasn't listed in update.rdf.

The dates of six months, 1 year, 2 years, etc. aren't important: choose any set of dates and
provided you implement this "aged out" feature, you can find a situation that hoses the
installation.

All of this assumes incremental updates are still enforced by the extension manager, of course. If
they're not, "aging out" makes sense.




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